Leaked images showed Boris Johnson hosting a Christmas quiz in December 2020.
The gathering, held at Downing Street, appeared to violate COVID-19 rules at the time.The images come as Johnson faces criticism over other reports of rule-breaking parties.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a Christmas quiz on December 15, 2020, apparently in violation of strict COVID-19 rules in place at the time, newly leaked images show.
The images, obtained by the Mirror, show Johnson at Downing Street seated beside two members of his staff. The outlet reported the quiz was held for Downing Street staff and was initially planned to be virtual, but one source said many participated in person instead.
Sources told the Mirror teams participated from different rooms at Downing Street, gathered around computers, while in one office there were four six-person teams present. Staff were drinking, did not discuss work, and hung around talking for hours after the quiz ended, the sources said.
They also said Johnson made a surprise appearance onscreen to host one round of the quiz for about 10 to 15 minutes, with the two staff members by his side.
At the time of the gathering, London was under Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions, which banned social gatherings between members of different households. The rules also banned work Christmas parties that were primarily social events.
The images come as Johnson is already facing calls to resign after a leaked video showed his staff joking about having a Christmas party in violation of COVID-19 rules. The video leaked days after sources told media outlets there had been a party at Downing Street on December 18, 2020, involving food, drinks, and party games.
“Trust in leadership is a matter of life and death,” Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party’s most senior member of Parliament, said after the reports. “The prime minister is responsible for losing the trust of the people. He can no longer lead on the most pressing issue facing these islands.”
Johnson, who was not reported to have attended the December 18 party, denied that any COVID-19 rules were broken.
“What I can tell you is that all the guidelines were observed,” he said. “I have satisfied myself that the guidelines were followed at all times.”
Johnson also faced criticism from his own supporters, Insider’s Thomas Colson reported, with one Tory MP saying the scandal will make it harder for the prime minister to lead his party.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is now leading an investigation into the multiple parties that have been reported in order to determine if COVID-19 rules were violated.